Silencing an Old Rumor
It is a cry that seems to roll around every time the Altador Cup does: "The game is rigged! The yooyus are helping a specific team!" Is it true? Are these beloved petpets using their position on the yooyuball field to help one team over another? Is the famed "eleventh player on the field" responsible for which team carries away the Cup at the end of the tournament?
In past Cups, some fans were quick to point out the presence of Darigan yooyus on the field in relation to the record of the team from the Darigan Citadel. "The Darigan yooyus clearly come from Darigan and, like any Darigan, are quick to claim the Citadel as their home," says one fan. "Therefore, it's impossible to think that they wouldn't have some preference for the Darigan Citadel team to do well. It would be easy for them to assist 'their' team from their position on the field."
The players think otherwise. "Nonsense," says Layton Vickles, captain and left forward of the Darigan Citadel's team. "We have to work just as hard as any other team to get those guys [Darigan yooyus] into the goal, and Reshar [Collifey] has to work just as hard to keep them out of ours. Those who say Darigan has an advantage because of the Darigan yooyus either know nothing about the sport or just refuse to admit that any team is better than their own."
In response to a similar allegation that the mutant yooyus helped Team Haunted Woods when they placed first six years ago, centre forward Zo Junior asked the returning question, "Then why haven't we taken the Cup since Y8?"
When asked what she thought about the rumors, Keetra Deile, captain and right forward of the defending champion Virtupets team, merely lifted an eyebrow as if trying to decide if it was a serious question. "They say what?" she laughed.
The yooyu trainers were also indignant at the claim. In an attempt to prove the impossibility of the accusation, one even began to angrily spout in detail, step by step, the entire training process the yooyus go through in preparation for the Cup. Upon realizing that he had revealed too much information, he added a simple "no comment." However, another was willing to give, more calmly and concisely, the steps taken to prevent such a situation. "The yooyus used in the tournament are handpicked to ensure that every team is treated equally," she explained. "In the event that one of the petpets does violate the rules of the game, they are immediately removed from being eligible for use in play. The yooyus have to work so hard to even be considered for tournament play that most are not willing to risk losing that prominent position. . . . Fact is, many of the yooyus have never even been to their 'homeland,' if that's what you want to call it, or at least haven't for a long time. All the tournament training is done right here in Altador."
One also must consider the presence of another yooyu on the field: the faerie ball. Just like the Darigan yooyus, most faerie yooyus consider Faerieland to be their home. Would they not be just as inclined to assist the Faerieland team in their Altador Cup pursuits? Faerieland's less than impressive record says otherwise.
"If the yooyus are supposed to help the team that bears their name, the faerie yooyus missed the memo," laughs Valtonous Rea, goalkeeper for Team Faerieland.
In fact, it could be argued that almost every type of yooyu used in the tournament would prefer one team over another. Would not the snow yooyu be inclined to help Terror Mountain, since the snowy conditions on the mountain slopes meet their preferred climate? Or the fire yooyu to assist the lava-filled Moltara?
When asked about the rumors, King Hagan the Wise, ruler of the kingdom of Brightvale, replied, "Although it is difficult to ascertain the validity of any statement before one fully examines the opposing sides of the given argument, I disbelieve in the likelihood of any petpet, however clever they may be, possessing the ability to hatch such a detailed and malicious plot as the one which we now discuss." [Author's Note: If you can figure out what he said, I applaud you.]
The governor of Krawk Island made another interesting point. "Arg, if that be the case, than why ain't they be sayin' the Altador team has the advantage? That be where the yooyu petpet came to bein'."
Other fans admit to be just as irritated by the claim as the players are. "Even if one type of yooyu is bias," says one Lost Desert fan, "it's not going to tip the whole tournament. Too many types [of yooyus] are used in a game." A Meridell fan gave a similar, if more sarcastic, response: "Yeah, because I've never seen a Darigan yooyu in the Citadel's net before." A third fan, this one dressed in Roo Island colors, merely started laughing hysterically when asked his opinion on the rumors.
If nothing else, the teams' records should clear up any doubt. The Darigan Citadel team has not carried away the Cup since Y9. The team from Haunted Woods has not even reached the finals since they won in Y8. The Faerieland team never has never placed higher than fifteenth in any year's Cup. In fact, unless one wants to make the argument that the mechanical clockwork yooyus are in on the plot, no team from a land any yooyu would claim as "home" has won the Cup since the Darigan Citadel's team did five years ago.
And so the question remains: Are the yooyus playing favorites among the yooyuball teams? At best, it is doubtful. At worst, it is downright laughable.
[Author's Note: No matter what team you are supporting in the current Altador Cup, best of luck to you. You may now rest assured that it has nothing to do with you or your team when a Darigan or mutant yooyu takes off in the opposite direction of the way you wanted it to go.]